Success Stories

Veteran excels in new career with steep learning curve

Daniel MartinezAfter a career in the food and beverage industry, U.S. Navy veteran Daniel Martinez realized that though he was good at his job as a manager and the industry had provided him with great opportunities, the long hours and low pay weren’t sustainable, and he was interested in a different career. A restaurant apparently was a good place for networking, though; a customer who had found a good job with the help of the North County Career Center encouraged him to seek help there too.

After attending workshops at the career center, Daniel found work as a project manager at Emergency Packout Co., an insurance-based packing company offering moving, storage and emergency services, including coordinating the restoration of sentimental furniture and other valuable objects damaged by fire, water or mold.

His current role, much like his former career in the food and beverage industry, requires a lot of improvisation on the job. "The job description should say 'wizard,'" he jokes.

Fortunately, the values instilled in him from his days in the Navy — honor, courage, commitment — have prepared him to try new things and see projects to completion.

Since joining the company earlier this year, Daniel has picked up a lot of new skills. The company opened a new office in Livermore in Northern California, which Daniel was instrumental in setting up and staffing. He recruited, hired and trained field staff on proper industry practices related to all aspects of the restoration ecosystem, as well as customer service training.

Daniel has also learned to create and maintain contact database and project records on a real-time basis and has learned the fundamentals of Xactimate software, a replacement cost estimating software for property claims.

With so much new experience under his belt, Daniel is interested in getting certified by Xactimate and as a project manager.

Having been introduced to a new career pathway by the North County Career Center, Daniel has since brought his nephew in to see how the staff and services can help him find work. For others looking for a new career or job, he speaks from personal experience: "Look for all possible resources. Have faith and commit. Seek those with more information than you; they are there to help."

To find a career center near you, visit workforce.org/ajcc.